Leading up to the 2013 Front End of Innovation EMEA event, we'll be chatting with some of our dynamic speakers for a sneak peek of what they have in store for this year's conference.
Heather Moore, Strategy and Future Vision, R&D at Vodafone will be presenting "Macro Trends: Building Blocks for Improvisation" in our 2013 Future Trends Summit which will focus on "Connecting Future Scenarios to Corporate Decision Making." Read on for a glimpse inside this session:
So to start us off, can you tell us a bit about yourself and your work?
We live in exciting times. Never before has the evolution of technology been so fast and so disruptive. My work within Vodafone R&D is to surface current and future human needs and to promote these needs with socially appropriate innovations. My everyday tools are in the area of future scenario visioning, multi-stakeholder foresight workshops, macro trend mapping, concept development, co-design with users, and collaborations with universities and other outside organizations.
You'll be speaking in our Future Trends summit; can you give us an idea of what attendees can look forward to if they join your session?
My session will address two components which are essential in future scenario planning, improvisation and macro trends. While it may seem unusual to use improvisation in a corporate environment, it is highly effective in innovating new thought patterns, practices, and processes. It's an excellent tool to address future developments in an agile way.
We will be using macro trends to establish the most likely developments for the future. I will share how to use macro trends as the building blocks for applying improvisation to future scenarios, to determine what options there are and to innovate intuitively and technically in response to a particular environment or situation.
What is it that first got you interested in trends? And what keeps you inspired?
I have always been interested in trends, how they are catalysts for change, and what drives them from fringe to mass adoption. My interest was initially sparked through fashion and design, and I've always been fascinated by the underlying patterns. It's very cyclical. I think it wasn't until I saw Stewart Brand's diagram on the rate of change of everything from fashion to nature, that I realized that trends exist in all of these areas, only at different rates of change and corresponding impact on society.
Lastly: based on your own experience, or what you have heard: what one piece of advice would you give to someone who is just starting their company out with an innovation program or project?
Based on recent Vodafone successes such as M-Pesa and SMS for Life, I would advise that innovation often happens in unlikely combinations. Rather than expecting a really impactful innovation to come only from brand new technologies, consider that the combination of an old technology used in a new way to satisfy a previously unaddressed human need may be ultimately more innovative for a particular market.
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